Dismissed NABDA DG: HURIWA accuses ICPC of cover up, petitions AGF
A prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has petitioned the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) to investigate the allegations that an unnamed top official of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission (ICPC) secured employment slots at the embattled National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) under the then acting Director General Professor Alex Akpa so as to grant soft landing to the now dismissed head of the agency over alleged heist of N400 million.
The Rights group said the secrecy surrounding the release from detention of the said sacked acting DG of NABDA Professor Alex Akpa by the ICPC for over a Month and the non- disclosure of the status of that matter which apparently has not been charged to Court fuels the allegations obtained from an intelligence source embedded within the management of the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) that a lot of hurriedly packaged employment slots were allotted allegedly by the then acting DG when he acted for two years in anticipation that should there be need to be called to answer charges of financial impropriety that the ‘big Masquerade’ with a lot of influence within the ICPC could grant him soft landing. HURIWA has asked the nation’s Chief Law officer to use his powers to investigate whether there is any credibility or believability in the intelligence provided to us by some very top directorate officials at the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA). “We had confronted the disgraced erstwhile acting DG of NABDA Professor Alex Akpa with this intelligence but he flatly denied it as an act of falsehood against him by his enemies hunting him out of office. However, HURIWA thinks the AGF/MINISTER of Justice should find out why the ICPC has been silent on the accusations they publicly made against the dismissed acting DG of NABDA Professor Alex Akpa for over one Month since his widely publicized detention from which he immediately secured a bail and till date no word has been said if the alleged disappeared N400 million has reappeared”.
In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, the Rights group said the Minister of Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has also been petitioned to address the public on the allegations against his nominee who couldn’t secure the substantive appointment as DG of NABDA Professor Alex Akpa just as the Rights Advocacy group told the Science and Technology Minister that it is important that he speaks so Nigerians will know if he played a role or not in the said disappearance of that huge amount of public fund given that he is the direct supervisory Minister overseeing NABDA. “We know Ogbonnaya Onu to be someone who wouldn’t want his reputation muddied so we expect him to provide immediate and far reaching clarifications on this allegations”.
Specifically, in the letter to the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami, titled “On Professor Alex Akpa and the ICPC: Demand for your intervention”, the Rights group said the following:
“We write on behalf our over ten thousand registered members and several other affiliate bodies.
Sir, we ask you to investigate the alleged collusion and compromise of officials of the independent corrupt practices and other related offence commission (ICPC) in the matter involving the just dismissed acting director general of an agency under the Federal Ministry of science and Technology known as NABDA in the person of Professor Alex Akpa.
We recall that the said Alex Akpa who spent two years in acting capacity was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari and a replacement made.
The said disgraced erstwhile DG OF NABDA has had brushes with the law leading to his detention by the ICPC.
But regrettably, to the shock of most Nigerians, he was picked up, detained only briefly and for a month that he was released, the ICPC has neither filed a suit nor has it made full public disclosure on the status of the allegation that the gentleman pilfered N 400, Million intervention fund belonging to NABDA.
We were also told by some top whistle blowers within NABDA, that both ICPC and EFCC allegedly got some employment slots during the two-year reign of the removed acting Director General so they can institutionally cover his tracks. This intelligence cannot be ascertained by us since we are not institutionally empowered to go through the records of employment that took place whilst Professor Alex Akpa acted as Director General and couldn’t get confirmation for substantive appointment. But the office of the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Abubakar Malami SAN can comfortably obtain the information through administrative means.
Kindly investigate to see if there is any verifiable or concrete evidence of compromise on the part of ICPC which could explain the long silence about this same matter for which ICPC had officially informed the public that Alex Akpa was detained.
We are doing this to assist President Muhammadu Buhari in his avoided fight against corruption. Your quick response and action will demonstrate your zeal to assist the President Muhammadu Buhari to carry on vigorous and corruption war.
Accept our highest, regards and consideration.”